Fitness Cheat Sheet: Yamuna Body Rolling
By Wendy Toth
If you’ve ever felt the sweet relief of getting a sports massage or using a foam roller after a major workout, like a marathon, then you already know the power of “body rolling.”
The pressure of rolling a ball against your muscles allows a release of tightness, lengthening of muscles, and re-aligning of joints that may have been pulled out of place, allowing circulation again. This translates into much less soreness, increased range of motion, and a faster recovery for the burnt-out athlete.
It’s these benefits and more that Yamuna Zake hopes to share with students of her Yamuna Body Rolling technique.
The class she teaches serves as a self-fixing and sustainability tool with the power to align the body, prevent breakdowns, heal existing ones, and even improve bone quality. She recommends it before beginning any other type of fitness practice to be sure you’re starting out problem-free.
There’s also a second level of healing that takes place.
“It directly stimulates the nerve roots of the spine, which then stimulates organ system functions,” says Zake, owner of Yamuna Studio in New York City. “It is a self-empowering, self-healing tool which allows you to problem solve, prevent, and maintain all your body parts now and in the future. It is also an anatomy tool because it teaches you how to work all your body parts anatomically correctly.”
Wear It… to Class
If you try a class, you should wear easy-moving, comfortable workout clothes, but no oversized T-shirts! “The ball will get all caught up in the T-shirt and not move,” says Zake.
Say It… For Motivation
“Tell a friend that you want to take her to a class where she will walk out taller, with all the stress melted out of her common tension points, and feel lighter, thinner, and freer in her body,” says Zake. “For sure she will be in!”
Just be sure to explain that this has nothing to do with common fitness classes, Pilates or flow-type of yoga. “She has to be open to letting her body unwind and free and correct itself.”
Find It… Near You
If you’re in New York, head to the original Yamuna Studio in Greenwich Village. Not in New York? Go to www.yamunabodyrolling.com to find a YBR certified instructor in your area, or you can purchase DVDs and balls through the Yamuna Studio store, if there is no one located near you, says Zake.
The main reason people don’t try Yamuna Body Rolling is that they’ve never heard of it. “Though we have been around for a long time, we are not a part of what commonly falls under the category of fitness,” says Zake.
People tend to find the class when they are looking for a new way to approach their body. “Unfortunately most people find us after they have been seriously injured through a fitness choice.”
But Yamuna Body Rolling helps heal their bodies and learn what they need to do to keep their bodies in good shape going forward.
“If somebody does not like gyms or common fitness activities, then usually they love this,” says Zake. “The person who knows it is important to keep the body healthy and in good shape but hates the pushing and intensity of so much of what’s offered at gyms usually loves Yamuna Body Rolling.”
You might also like:
Muscle Confusion: Avoid Stress Injuries & Keep Workouts Interesting
Gyrotonic Unraveled: Help Your Body Massage Itself
5 Moves to Lengthen Your Muscles (and Why It’s a Good Thing to Do)
Fitness Cheat Sheet: Acro Yoga
5 Firming Products That Really Work
Wendy Toth writes and edits stories about fitness, beauty (inner and outer), health and pets for outlets like The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Weight Watchers and Pet360. She lives in Pennsylvania and Brooklyn, which is complicated, but fun. You can ask her about it through wendytoth.com.